The first three models that Tamiya released in the 1970s were Porsche 934 set number 58001, Porsche 935 set number 935 and Tyrrell P34 six-wheelers. These three models are closely related to each other and share most of their components. After these first three models, Tamiya decided to continue this commercially successful strategy by releasing four models that are mechanically closely related within a few months, this family being named after the first model that was released for sale:
– Lamborghini Countach LP500S model 58005, released to sales from early 1978; Countach chassis.
– Martini Porsche 936 turbo model 58006, released to sales from early 1978 immediately after the Countach; Countach chassis.
– Lamborghini Countach LP500S CS model 58008, released to sales in the last months of 1978; chassis Countach.CS
– Toyota Celica Turbo Gr.5 model 58009, released to sales in the last months of 1978 immediately after the Countach CS; chassis Countach.CS
In this case, the strategy of having several models with different body with common mechanical parts reduced sales of the lower performance models. Lamborghini LP500S sold less than the corresponding Lamborghini LP500S CS. No official sales figures are available, only the number of units currently available on the market.
These models, like their predecessors, are characterised by the presence of many metal parts in the chassis and rich styrene bodies. One of the strong points of the first models was certainly the highly detailed body that the Porsche 934 and Porsche 935 shared with the corresponding static models. Certainly this was one of the keys to the commercial success of the two Porsche 934 and 935. The bodies of the Countach, the Porsche 936 and the Toyota Celica were no match for those of the Porsche 934 and 935.
The all-metal chassis of the machine was divided into three main parts
– Central part with battery plate
– Steering system
– Transmission system complete with motor
In reality, there were very few parts in common and interchangeable between the two families:
– All models had no shock absorbers and bumps were absorbed by the elasticity of the tyres.
– The battery and electronics plate allows the servos (excluding the one for steering), receiver, speed controller, batteries for the motor and electronics to be installed.
– The black front bumper.
– The motor speed controller.
– The rear axle
The gear system including the differential.
The bodies of the individual models are different from each other, but they are attached to the electronic carrier plate by means of two shaped bars that are screwed into the sides of the body itself. This release system is a development of the one found on the Porsche 934, Porsche 935 and Tyrrell P34. It has one major advantage, there are no moving parts and therefore no accidental loss.
The bodies of the Lamborghini and Porsche 936 to date (2023) were reissued as celebratory versions in the early 2000s. It is possible to find some perfectly new bodies on the market that have never been installed on models, they are reissues that have had a good market in the Japanese market.
There is a fifth body for this family as an accessory; it is the Porsche 908, set number SP-1107, compatible with the four chassis:
– Lamborghini Countach LP500S set number 58005, Martini Porsche 936 Turbo set number 58006, Lamborghini Countach LP500S CS set number 58008 without any modifications and
– Toyota Celiva turbo Gr.5 set number 58009 in which case the rear wheels must be changed. Model B set number SP-1057 is to be replaced by model D set number SP -1076
In the 1980s, Tamiya had all the replacement bodies for every model produced in its catalogue; Tamiya was not in the habit of having a single body in its catalogue without a corresponding model and chassis. As a commercial strategy, every body released for sale had a corresponding set in which body and chassis were bought. There are only three other examples of bodies sold as accessories without their own chassis:
– Porsche 934 set number SP-1045 compatible with Porsche 934 set number 58001 and Porsche 935 set number 58002 (changing tyres + rims both front and rear). Actually, with this set you can choose in the original green livery with main sponsor “Vaillant” set number 58001, the white livery with main sponsor “Tebernum” or the orange livery with main sponsor “Jagermeister”. The package containes the three sets of stickers. This is an even more unusual case because for the same body there are three types of colouring and three different sets of stickers: one of the three alternatives is also available with chassis model 58001, the orange and white versions never have a corresponding complete chassis model.
In the package you can find the body in white plastic, cobalt green plastic or orange plastic.
– Porsche 935 set number SP-1048 compatible with Porsche 935 set number 58002 and Porsche 934 set number 58001 (by changing tyres + rims both front and rear). actually with this set you could choose between the original white livery of Martini Racing model 58002 or the orange livery of Jagermeister. The package contained both sets of stickers. In reality, this is an even more unusual case because for the same body there were two types of colouring and two different sets of stickers: one of the two alternatives was also available with chassis model number 58002, the orange version never had a corresponding complete chassis model.
– Lotus 79 Martini in English green set number SP-1109 compatible both with Ligier f1 Manta SJ9 set number 58010 and Ferrari 312T3 set number 58011 and with Ligier f1 Manta SJ9 CS set number 58012, Wiilliams f1 FW07 set number 58019, J.P.S. Lotus 79 set number 58020 and Brabham BT50 BMW turbo set number 58031
The first two Countach LP500S and Martini Porsche 936 turbo models shared the same chassis, which was much less sought after than its Competition Special evolution.
The fact that the two versions with the Competition Special chassis became available later that year meant that these two models were rarer as fewer of them were sold. At the time, everyone preferred to buy Countach LP500S CS and Toyota Celica Turbo Gr.5, which were for all intents and purposes more performance oriented and had similar purchase prices.
The two models Countach LP500S and Martini Porsche 936 differ in terms of:
– body and
Countach LP500S has wheels that were developed and sold only on this model, set number SP-1063. Martini Porsche 936 turbo shares the rims with Porsche 934, set number SP-1001.
In these models, the tyres are made of soft rubber and there are two alternatives for the treads: slicks (which were included in the factory package) and all-conditions treads – rain tyres.
The tyres on the Lamborghini Countach LP500S and Martini Porsche 936 turbo are shared with the Porsche 934; the rain tyres with treads are referred to as ‘all weather’ and are accessory number SP-1043 for the front wheels and SP-1044 for the rear wheels respectively.
The rear drive system is based on the RS380S motor and is equipped with a differential.
The system repeats what was done for the previous Porsche 934 family: folded sheet metal chassis on which the metal axle, RS380S motor, gears with differential and the motor are installed. The axle runs on bushings fixed to the chassis.
The metal axle is the same as the Porsche 934 family, set number SP-1009.
In order to make the most of such a small motor as the RS380S, the pinion is double-sided: it has more teeth on one side than the other and can be installed by choosing the configuration that best suits the circuit, favouring speed (ratio 5.8:1) or acceleration (ratio 4.7:1).
The sprocket is the same as the Porsche 934 family, set number SP-1012.
There are two motor installation configurations for this chassis: one defined for “practice” and one for racing.
In the practice configuration there is an additional gear that is used to further reduce the speed.
Immediately Tamiya made an after-market accessory available on the market to make up for the fact that the more performance-oriented RS540 can be found on the evolution of this car: set SP-1072.
This accessory is the same transmission system found on the Countach LP500S CS and Toyota Celica Turbo Gr.5. In the set was the differential and fixed gear, so depending on the circuit you can choose to have an under-steered or over-steered car.
The front shell is made of plastic and houses the steering system and servo control.
The servo motor is firmly attached to the shell itself with two L-shaped brackets that allow different sizes to be installed. The whole weight of the servo rests on the front axle and this helps to distribute the weight better. As with the Porsche 934 family, there is no steering servo system for this family. Modification of the steering system to add dampers.
The instructions illustrate the possibility of having two alternatives for powering the motor:
– battery holder for 4 UM2 type batteries very similar in size to the ‘half-torch’, abbreviation D; the code for the two-seater battery holder is 70012,
– 6-volt 1200mAh battery pack
Not to be confused with other sets in the Educational series:
– the more modern “Separated Battery Box + Switch” kit code 70149, which still provides the possibility of connecting two cells but the battery box is single for R14/C/UM2 type cells (half torch),
– The kit “Separated Battery Box + Switch” code 70150 which always provides the possibility of connecting two cells but the battery holder is single for cell type R6/AA/UM3 (stylus).
– The “Separated Battery Box + Switch” kit code 70023 which always provides the possibility of connecting two cells but the battery holder is single for cell type R20/D/UM1 (torch).
– The kit “Battery Box + Switch” code 70013 that always provides the possibility to connect two cells, but the battery holder is double for cells type R6/AA/UM3 (stylus)
Countach CS Chassis – Competition Special
The two models Countach LP500S CS and Toyota Celica Turbo Gr.5 share the same chassis, which is a development from the basic version found on the Countach LP500S and Martini Porsche 936 turbo.
The two models Countach LP500S CS and Toyota Celica Turbo Gr. differ in:
– rear rims and
– rear tyres
The first difference between the Countach family and the Countach CS is the design of the central chassis, you can appreciate how the first chassis evolved into the CS version by looking at the two replacement sets.
Set number SP-1066 is the replacement kit for the Countach LP500S-Martini Porsche 936 Turbo family and set number SP-1078 is the replacement kit for the Countach LP500S CS-Toyota Celica Turbo Gr.5 family.
It is immediately noticeable how the electronics carrier plate was common to the two families, but above all how the shape of the second chassis was much more refined to ensure equal rigidity to the first version and yet guarantee a lower weight.
For the CS family there is also the FRP frame as an accessory, and there are quite a few models on sale that have this type of frame.
FRP is an abbreviation for Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic, which is obviously not carbon. It weighs more than carbon, but much less than metal.
It is a very popular upgrade to make the model go faster because it is much lighter. The two solutions are equivalent, the choice of installing a metal or FRP frame is purely personal.
The tyres for the Countach LP500S CS and Toyota Celica are sponge and partly share them with the F1 CS chassis models 58012-LIGIER F1 MANTA SJ9 COMPETITION SPECIAL, 58019-WIILLIAMS F1 FW07, 58020-J.P.S. LOTUS 79 and 58031-BRABHAM BT50 BMW TURBO.
While the front wheels (set number SP-1075, Diplo tyres) are common to both Lamborghini and Toyota, each model had its own dedicated rear wheel + tyre:
– model D set number SP-1076 is for the Countach LP500S CS and
– model B set number SP-1057 is for the Toyota Celica Turbo Gr.5.
The rear transmission system is based on the RS540 motor. With this family, Tamiya wanted to introduce a novelty for the transmission part: there are two alternatives. The first possibility is a rear gear complete with satellites to have a real differential, the second possibility is a fixed gear without any differential. Both are supplied and then you can choose which one to install depending on the circuit to be faced.
The rear system is an evolution of that of the starter version of the previous family: sheet metal frame housing the ball bearings (no longer the bushings) for the rear axle, gears and motor.
The rear axle is the same as that of the starting family and is therefore in common with the Porsche 934.
The steering system has many parts in common with that of the F1 chassis: the zamak supports and black plastic arms are the same. There is also no steering system for this family. Modification of the steering system to add dampers.
The servo mounting system with two L-shaped brackets is similar to that of the basic version. The advantages are the same: the servo is firmly fixed to the chassis and different servo sizes can be installed. The weight of the servo rests entirely on the front axle and this helps to distribute the weight better, but there is no longer a plastic shell to house it.
For the Countach LP500S CS-Toyota Celica Turbo Gr.5 family, only the 6V 1200mAh battery pack was installed.
The bodies of the Countach LP500S and Countach LP500S CS are the same, differing in that the second version had a chrome rear wing.